Alabama’s fall from the top is because of several things

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 27, 2000

It seems like it was only yesterday when college football teams across the country started their preseason practice and now most of them will be playing their fifth game this weekend.

Brigham Young plays their sixth game this weekend, as does Penn State, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico. Their season’s will be more than half over after this weekend’s games.

So far there’s been a few surprises and quite a few disappointments.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Alabama, of course, is one of those big disappointments we’re talking about.

The Crimson Tide was a preseason pick to finish third in the nation by most all of the polls. Now they’re struggling with a 1-3 record and cries are loud for Coach Mike DuBose to step down at the Capstone. If you look at Alabama’s schedule the rest of the way, a 3-8 or 2-9 record is a distinct possibility.

Out of the remaining games with South Carolina, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Central Florida, LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn, only UCF jumps out at me as a sure win.

In fact UCF and possibly LSU are the only teams Alabama is better then on their remaining schedule.

What’s wrong? I think it’s several things.

First of all Alabama does not have the great players everybody thinks they have. Not only did they lose All-American’s Shaun Alexander and Chris Samuels, but they also lost three outstanding defensive linemen in Cornelius Giffin, Reggie Grimes and Kendall Moorehead, who is out for the season with a knee injury.

The next reason for their problems, I think, is at quarterback. How did Andrew Zow lose his effectiveness so quickly? Coming into the season he was a bonafide All-Star prospect. Tyler Watts can run, but he’s a very average passer. I think Andrew Zow, if he can come back and perform like he did in both Florida games last year, is Alabama’s only way out of this big hole they’ve dug for themselves.

The kicking game is terrible. I’ve seen high school kickers better then Alabama’s.

Coming into the season Alabama did not have an experienced running back that was even close to Alexander’s ability. The only one that had played any at all was Shaun Bohannon and they dropped him quickly after the UCLA game.

Where’s the great Freddie Milons!?

I think either his head is too big for his helmet or someone has taken his candy away from him.

I watched Alabama in the Orange Bowl against Michigan on New Year’s Day and with out Samuels that night the offensive line was not very good.

Sure, DuBose and his staff have made a lot of mistakes so far this season, but I don’t think they’re the real problem. They did, however, recruit the players they’ve got.

I think the big problem is that Alabama being picked to finish third in the country was a huge mistake by the media and the coaches across the country. This Alabama team is not very good because their players are not very good. All you have to do is to watch their offense and defense standing straight up on every play. That’s a lack of skill and very poor coaching.

Alabama’s not by itself, however!

Look at Joe Paterno’s Penn State Nitany Lions. They’re terrible! Once one of the top team’s in the country, Paterno’s team is 1-4 going into their game with Purdue this weekend. After that they’ve got to play Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State. Their best chance is to go 2-10, if they beat Iowa.

The most impressive new front-runner this 2000 season has to be Clemson, Oklahoma and Texas Christian. All are undefeated and have high-powered offenses.

We’ll find out more this weekend when they play at Colorado, but I think that Kansas State will beat Nebraska and play either Florida State or Clemson in the National Championship in Miami. Kansas State is about unbeatable at home and they play Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Nebraska in Manhattan, Kansas.

The dark horses that have emerged so far this season is South Carolina, Texas Tech and Auburn. I’m sure some of you are wondering where Florida and Virginia Tech fit into the picture. They’ll be playing each other in the runner-up Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.

Right now our Troy State Trojans are coasting along pretty well, but will receive severe tests in the coming weekends with South Florida, Northwestern State, Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin all on the road.

Nicholls State and McNeese State won’t be cake walks either.

There’s still a lot of football to be played before we find out the end results, but this is how I see it so far.

Have a great weekend.

Go Trojans!